I Am a Victim of Sexual Assault. This Is My Story

10891977_10207291142696188_2533280229612733357_n

I am a victim of sexual assault.

Seeing those words on the screen of my laptop still causes my hands to tremble and it’s been over 30 years since my innocence was taken. It’s the height of irony that a person widely known for sharing virtually every aspect of his life on the radio has managed to keep this one secret buried so deep.

This might be the point where you ask me why I haven’t come forward sooner. It’s a question I heard the President of the United States ask over the last week with regard to a woman that has accused a Supreme Court nominee of sexually assaulting her while the two were still in high school. But this isn’t a political opinion piece. The opinion shared by the President is one that I have heard echoed throughout the years whenever a prominent sexual abuse/assault case comes forward after being kept secret for such a long period of time.

Let me start at the beginning. Over 33 years ago I was molested by a person familiar to my family. I wasn’t restrained or held against my will. I wouldn’t even say that I was forced against my will. But I was coerced into performing a sexual act with a male much older than I was when I was just a boy who couldn’t possibly understand what I was doing. I was deceived. I didn’t know any better and I went along with this man’s devious plot. It only happened one time. But that one incident is an albatross that’s been around my neck for the last 30-plus years.

Over 20 years ago, I was engaged to a woman named Victoria. During a conversation one night, I broke down in tears while telling her of the abuse I suffered at the hands of a man familiar to my family. It was the first time I had told anyone what had happened to me over a decade earlier. There I was, sobbing like a little boy. I had been brought back to that day and that moment where this young man had violated me. In the days that followed, I would share my story with a select few people in my family. I chose to protect my parents from this awful experience. The way I viewed it, there was nothing they could do for me now. I was an adult and I was out on my own.

But it was more complicated than that. Many will ask why I am being vague in describing my abuser. Why have I gone the route of keeping him nameless? The reasoning on my end is simple. The number of lives that would be destroyed by this revelation is too large for me to bear. It isn’t just this man’s life that would be ruined. It would be the lives of his family and extended family. I wouldn’t be able to live with that consequences for the sake of outing this person that so badly damaged my life. Why should his family have to suffer for his selfishness? For as many times in my life as I have lacked the discipline to hold back, this is the one instance where I still have the ability to do so. A select few people know who my attacker is. I have asked them to keep my secret. Hopefully, they will honor that request.

Over the last decade, I thought of sharing my story publicly. I thought of outing my abuser. I thought of writing to him to tell him all the pain he had caused me throughout the course of my life because of one selfish decision he made so many years ago. But for all the times I considered coming forward with my experience, I ultimately opted for the choice of silence. Might I confront the man who did this to me at some point? Perhaps. There is no statute of limitations that restricts me from talking to the police tomorrow if I wanted to. But again, at what cost would that action come? Right now, just one life has been forever altered by this experience. Why have more that are so adversely burdened because of one person’s actions? Still, it is something I consider every now and then.

7 years ago I heard the story of Jerry Sandusky molesting boys in showers while a coach at Penn State University. It made me physically nauseous. I would go on the radio and discuss the story with my audience. And each time I shared the story, it was like recounting my own sexual assault to an audience of tens of thousands. The pain was unbearable. I remember breaking down in tears to my partner and telling him of the pain I was in. But what could I do? There never felt like a proper time to share this experience with anybody outside of a handful of people.

When people ask why somebody doesn’t come forward, it shows a lack of understanding towards those who have endured something so incomprehensible. How many people can even go to that dark place? And if you haven’t been in there, a proper perspective is impossible to come up with. Who would have believed me as a young boy if I had spoken up and said this person forced me to do something that I really didn’t want to do? As I started to get older, I wondered if perhaps I had wanted it to happen. Maybe it was my fault? Heck, I figured out that I was gay when I was 23, after years of dating women and even getting engaged to one. Maybe this experience I had as a child was just a part of my “sexual discovery”. So many potential rationalizations. Join them up with the reasons listed in the paragraphs before and it gave me so many reasons not to speak up.

So why speak out now? Again, the answer is simple. I either start unloading some of this experience in the present or risk self-destructing in the very near future. I can feel myself coming apart at the seams as the chorus of the #MeToo Movement grows louder each day. While that movement addresses sexual harassment and assault related to the workplace, I feel a kinship with those who have openly shared their experiences of sexual trauma at the hands of somebody in a position of power or authority. My assault didn’t come in the workplace. But it still came at the hands of somebody who should have known better. It came at the hands of somebody who took advantage of his position as somebody who was older than me.

Another reason I’m speaking out now is guilt. As we grow older, we expand upon the simplistic ways in which we process traumatic incidents in our lives. I certainly know that my thoughts crystalized a bit more as I processed what took place on that day so many years ago. I constantly came back to one thought that still haunts me now. Did my silence enable my abuser to do others, what he had done to me? What are the chances that I was the only boy who this man violated? Did he do it to others? I’ll probably never know.

I’m not here to allege that I was sexually assaulted as a young boy. I’m here to tell you that I was sexually assaulted as a young boy. It isn’t imagined. I’m not mistaken as to who perpetrated this crime upon me. While I don’t remember the exact day on the calendar (in terms of when this took place), I can walk you to the spot where it happened. I remember the violation that vividly. Its mark has been burned indelibly into my being. It will never disappear.

Let me finish with a message to the man who has caused me this great pain. If my accuser should happen to read this, I want him to know something. You took something from me that I will never be able to have back. You stole my innocence. Beyond that, you’ve stolen over 33 years of my life in some way, shape or form by forcing me to relive my trauma again and again. I hope that in telling this story I can start to reclaim some of what has been lost at your hands and actions. I am a survivor of sexual assault. My wounds run deep. Rather than question why I’ve chosen to remain silent for so long, instead ask yourself what is occurring in our society that forces one to stay silent for such an interminable period.

17 Comments

  1. Vivianna September 24, 2018 10:39 am  Reply

    Thank you for sharing this Jason.

  2. Maura September 24, 2018 11:04 am  Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story….you are very courageous and this my friend is a huge step..WE all need to speak about our stories. There is strength in the truth…

  3. Maura September 24, 2018 11:04 am  Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story….you are very courageous and this my friend is a huge step..WE all need to speak about our stories. There is strength in the truth…

  4. Johna Pompano September 24, 2018 1:20 pm  Reply

    Jason I am sitting here sobbing reading this! My heart goes out to you for being brave enough to come forward and tell your story. The sad part is even with sharing your story, and getting some form of closure, you will never forget! I hope your accuser does happen to read this and gets so wrapped up in his own guilt that he seeks some serious help! Thinking of you and beyond proud that you did this even now all these years later!

  5. Robert McComas-Wood September 24, 2018 3:20 pm  Reply

    I was 8, he was 18 or 19. I can still see and smell the basement and storage locker of the apartment where I was assaulted. Like you it is not an allegation it is a fact. I am now 65, I have spoken about this once before.
    Beside being a victim/survivor, I work with sexual assault victims female and male. When it comes to this subject I can truthfully say from my training and experience we have a lot of uneducated and uninformed individuals in the halls of our government. I have sent several letters attempting to guide them to where they can find answers to their questions. As of this posting I have not received a response from the president of the members of congress I contacted. The silence is loud and it speaks volumes.

    • Jason September 25, 2018 5:50 am  Reply

      Robert… Thanks for reading my story and thanks for sharing yours with me. It means a great deal.

  6. Larry. K September 24, 2018 4:00 pm  Reply

    To the very few people I have discussed my situation with it always sounds like a common thread of their current sexuality. Not only this but so much of your story resembles mine. It took me 30+ plus years before I admitted to myself that I was molested prior to anyone else. I was living my life in such a deep depression that when I went to seek professional help it ended up that the further the onion was peeled back the more the post trauma stress was evident from the event effecting all my behaviors and thoughts. All the self doubt, hated, blaming myself, telling myself that I could of stopped the 3 year episodes and it was as too late to open my mouth as no other no one would believe me anyway. . At one point I was admitted to a private facility that specialized in sexual addiction as this was a problem as well. Two admissions for 15 weeks total at $15000.00 weekly. It wiped out every retirement, savings and borrowing funds as well. Very difficult to understand that I needed and deserved the care Another guilty trip to carry on. Only later to discover how clearly the sexual experiences that most interested me was a form of renacting my own abuse. In am married to a woman and always wondering if I did the right thing. It was not until the age of 40 when I began to doubt my sexual preference as a heterosexual male and that being gay was becoming clearer to me. I state all this only because this is where my biggest problem resides. My inabilty to freely explore and determine my own sexuality as my time. makes me so very angry every day. Coming out would have been a nightmare when I was 20-25. So I did what was acceptable to sociable married a woman with tremendous gratitude for the children that she gave me. But when I was in the facility I had disclosed my assault to her as well as who my molester was and for how long. Her response was that I should just get over it as it was so long ago and she reminded me of the close relationship my family shared with my molesters family. So it ended up that I now resented which only worsened the lack of intimacy .to the point that none exist at all. I felt I was not deserving of it and as she did not initial and so I was convince she thought I was disgusting to even touch. So living on the down low is the worse life to ever lead for me. Most men choose this because of the loving spouse they have at home as well as a decent sex life. Today 25 years later I exist like an island. It hurts so much living a life without intimacy from anyone. Not having a compassionate or a passion HUG for so many years that I live a life of suicidal ideation. Any thing has to be better then this. Between seeing my molestor too often doesn’t help either. All these sacrifices for the peace and happiness of others. At my age of 60 where am I to go my intimacy now??? My own mother gave me away 3 times when I was younger so this seals all thoughts of being worthless. Mothers hardly ever give their children up but she did me. As if that is not an issue itself to deal with. I have nothing but accolades for you in the manner of taking control of your own life. Thank the lord for your sole mate. I should have moved on when left the facility but I didn’t want to hurt anyone. The anger will always be there especially when people throw rumors around wondering if I am gay or not? People do not realize that very few of survivors ever live true peace within themselves. That’s the issue that needs to be addressed with society.

  7. Larry. K September 24, 2018 4:00 pm  Reply

    To the very few people I have discussed my situation with it always sounds like a common thread of their current sexuality. Not only this but so much of your story resembles mine. It took me 30+ plus years before I admitted to myself that I was molested prior to anyone else. I was living my life in such a deep depression that when I went to seek professional help it ended up that the further the onion was peeled back the more the post trauma stress was evident from the event effecting all my behaviors and thoughts. All the self doubt, hated, blaming myself, telling myself that I could of stopped the 3 year episodes and it was as too late to open my mouth as no other no one would believe me anyway. . At one point I was admitted to a private facility that specialized in sexual addiction as this was a problem as well. Two admissions for 15 weeks total at $15000.00 weekly. It wiped out every retirement, savings and borrowing funds as well. Very difficult to understand that I needed and deserved the care Another guilty trip to carry on. Only later to discover how clearly the sexual experiences that most interested me was a form of renacting my own abuse. In am married to a woman and always wondering if I did the right thing. It was not until the age of 40 when I began to doubt my sexual preference as a heterosexual male and that being gay was becoming clearer to me. I state all this only because this is where my biggest problem resides. My inabilty to freely explore and determine my own sexuality as my time. makes me so very angry every day. Coming out would have been a nightmare when I was 20-25. So I did what was acceptable to sociable married a woman with tremendous gratitude for the children that she gave me. But when I was in the facility I had disclosed my assault to her as well as who my molester was and for how long. Her response was that I should just get over it as it was so long ago and she reminded me of the close relationship my family shared with my molesters family. So it ended up that I now resented which only worsened the lack of intimacy .to the point that none exist at all. I felt I was not deserving of it and as she did not initial and so I was convince she thought I was disgusting to even touch. So living on the down low is the worse life to ever lead for me. Most men choose this because of the loving spouse they have at home as well as a decent sex life. Today 25 years later I exist like an island. It hurts so much living a life without intimacy from anyone. Not having a compassionate or a passion HUG for so many years that I live a life of suicidal ideation. Any thing has to be better then this. Between seeing my molestor too often doesn’t help either. All these sacrifices for the peace and happiness of others. At my age of 60 where am I to go my intimacy now??? My own mother gave me away 3 times when I was younger so this seals all thoughts of being worthless. Mothers hardly ever give their children up but she did me. As if that is not an issue itself to deal with. I have nothing but accolades for you in the manner of taking control of your own life. Thank the lord for your sole mate. I should have moved on when left the facility but I didn’t want to hurt anyone. The anger will always be there especially when people throw rumors around wondering if I am gay or not? People do not realize that very few of survivors ever live true peace within themselves. That’s the issue that needs to be addressed with society.

  8. Jill Ann Manuel September 24, 2018 4:05 pm  Reply

    Jason, this must have been very hard to write. Thanks for your courage to come forward with your story. This is indeed the right time, if there ever was one, to let go and go public. Plus, it’s beautifully written.

  9. Scott Corcoran September 24, 2018 4:28 pm  Reply

    This angers me to no end!!! I want to hug you, I want to cry, I want to physically punish him. Jason, I mean this when I tell you, You were my favorite little kid ever!!! When I met you, I knew I wanted to have kids. I love you and your family very much even though we have lost touch (other than social media platforms). To think that you were going through this pain all these years right under our noses even, breaks my heart. The fact that this even happened breaks my heart. I would have done anything for you and your family then and now. If you ever need a friend a shoulder.

    I’m here…
    With love & support,
    Scott

  10. Pam September 25, 2018 1:55 am  Reply

    Thanks so much for writing and posting this, Jason. Your story will help many people. Sending you blessings and LOTS of hugs. Pam

  11. David Baum September 25, 2018 3:34 am  Reply

    One of my best friends lost his son to suicide. At the time it was told to him that his son was sexually abused by his uncle – my friend’s brother. His son was unable to defeat this demon and yet could not bear to tell his father for fear of what would happen to the family.

    I know this must be very cathartic for you to just put it in in writing and I hope you even read it aloud so you could hear the words and release your feelings. I can’t believe that you can keep this bottled up, but, obviously, it’s your call.

    Blessings to you to move forward in your life, Jason.

  12. Olga September 25, 2018 5:18 am  Reply

    I told my, now in heaven, sister. Her response? I was waiting to see when this was going to come out. A medical professional, sister, matriarch of our family, responded this way. And for twenty five years, never brought it up again. She took it to her grave. That’s why we don’t tell. I told another sister, she brushed me off by saying it was physiologically impossible. This explodes the abusive event in your head. That’s why we don’t report. I went to see a counselor, first words out of her mouth, after she heard my story, confront your abuser. I said, ok. I walked out and never went back. that’s why we don’t report. I told my best friend. She asked, did you report? I said no. She said report. Yet again, I felt shamed and blamed. That’s why we don’t report. And then one day a delivery man deliberately swept against her breast. When she told me I told her to report the s.o.b. She couldn’t do it. But she did feel violated.

    I don’t remember dates but I do remember smells and locations.

    5 abusers. All family members. If I report them I will destroy my family, they will destroy and disown me. It looks like I may never report.

    They stole my innocence. I have an eating dis order, general anxiety, social anxiety, fear of everything. I am, however, very blessed I’m not where I used to be.

    • Jason September 25, 2018 5:49 am  Reply

      A powerful story Olga. Thank you for sharing it with me.

  13. Alisia DeCrosta September 25, 2018 4:03 pm  Reply

    You, my dear friend, are brave beyond words. Let this be your release. Know you are loved beyond words, for this and in spite of this.
    Don’t change. Let this be your peace with yourself.

  14. Benny September 25, 2018 6:46 pm  Reply

    Jason, thank,you for sharing and writing such an eloquent piece on this subject. There is one thing I pray you consider.

    Much like Sandusky, who you bring up, hurt kids for years on end, if just ONE had outed him, think of the pain it may have saved others. Think of those victims, their famies and lives changed because no one spoke up.

    If your abuser hurt you, who else did he/will he hurt?

    • Jason September 25, 2018 6:49 pm  Reply

      And this is the struggle. Believe me, I live with it daily. There are a lot of things to consider that I can’t publish without making it known who my abuser is. It is still something I am considering. Thank you for reading my story.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *